By: Siobhan Brown
Finding a family friendly restaurant in any city can sometimes be a challenge, but not to worry! Our family restaurant reviewer is here to make some excellent suggestions for you and your kids.
The Place & Vibe
In the heart of Xintiandi on a Friday night, my husband and I along with our son Kaden (three) arrived with two good friends and their daughters (four and eight), at new restaurant Glasshouse, all in the mood to eat. Entering with our pint-sized diners, we were immediately impressed with the décor, which gives the feeling of a bright and airy greenhouse. Upside down planters filled with foliage hang from the ceiling, and framed tropical butterflies and lush vines provide splashes of color throughout. Picture frames display various butterfly species and skylights filter in soft light, giving such a relaxed and inviting feeling that we immediately felt at ease as we were shown to our table.
To begin, we went the predictable route by ordering French fries (RMB58) for the little ones in the hopes of staving off hunger, boredom and certain anarchy. The fries that came to the table however, were by no means typical. These super crispy fries were nestled in a miniature fryer basket, and the kids really enjoyed the side of truffle butter. Next we ordered lime and lemongrass chicken wings (RMB58) with shrimp sambal sauce. They had a tangy citrus flavor and were the perfect pairing to the fries. Lastly we ordered pink rice paper rolls (RMB78) filled with smoked salmon, prawn and herbs. The kids were not interested in trying this particular dish, but the adults at the table certainly appreciated it, particularly the delicious accompanying white balsamic sauce.
Appetites now piqued, the kids decided on macaroni and cheese (RMB88), spaghetti volcano (RMB88) and cheese pizza (RMB98). I was a little concerned that they may be disappointed when their pasta selections arrived, assuming they would prefer instead, more ‘traditional’ and familiar noodles. Much to my surprise they devoured the ‘volcano’ spaghetti, and other than noting “too much butter” in the macaroni and cheese (pointed out by our oldest diner Julia, age 8), they loved the sausage that was baked inside. As for us adults, we tried the Singapore noodles (RMB158), a signature dish at Glasshouse and for good reason. They were downright delicious and full of flavor – infused with red lobster, Serrano ham, goose liver and homemade curry.
After, the children settled on the white chocolate fondue (RMB88) for dessert and were thrilled when the fruits, brownies, marshmallows, and deliciously light, airy egg puffs arrived. Another fun dessert option is the Candy Crush ice cream (RMB88), served with Oreo cookies, candy and Rice Crispies.
Despite the East-meets-West fusion, the children in our party enjoyed these distinctly flavorful dishes. While there is no children’s menu, the adult menu has acceptable options and portion sizes for little diners (although probably not recommendable for under 3s, who may require a simpler children’s menu, booster chair, change table or children’s cutlery).
The staff were very accommodating with our children, recommending fun dishes and drinks and even bringing their beverages in mini pitchers with straws, which the kids absolutely adored.
Overall, the evening was a huge success with the adults enjoying a relaxing glass of wine (the drinks list is extensive) as well as a delicious meal. This is an excellent family friendly option in the heart of Xintiandi with affordable pricing parents will appreciate, and appropriate portion sizing both adults and children can enjoy.
Price: RMB170 per person, including children.
Recommended ages: 5 and up
Good for: lunch, casual dinner and fusion food.
Join Siobhan’s family in the next issue of Urban Family as we go on the hunt for kid-friendly dining options around town!
// Lane 181, Taicang Lu, Xintiandi, Bldg 7, 1/F, near Madang Lu 太仓路181弄新天地7号楼1楼, 近马当路 (3307 0388)